As we approach another year and those great resolutions kick in there are some risks especially for athletes. Too much too soon is the biggest risk and more of that in another post this week but as we hurriedly go on diets avoiding all sorts of nutritionally valuable foods, RED-S (used to be called the Female triad) is all about energy availability and potential eating disorders and is a risk as we increase training while reducing nutritious intake.
Energy deficiency in athletes has several effects and is a good reason to eat and drink well during training and racing. Thinking about food and drink as fuel for the muscles, brain and spirit is one way to ensure adequate focus on this broad topic. Appropriate fuel intake before-during-after training can help to replenish-restore-rebuild each of us who chose the athletes way. Appropriate types-timings-quantities of fuel can help prevent several disorders including:
– Slow metabolic rate
– Menstrual disorders
– Bone health issues
– Impaired immunity
– And support cardiovascular health
Energy Availability = Energy Intake – Energy Cost of Exercise and is the amount of unused dietary energy after subtracting energy cost of training.